Author: Lacroix, Natalie

DMD Solidarity Statement

Behind the Badge
“Behind the Badge” – Digital Illustration by DMD first year student, Katie Aranda, created for DMD 1102 Design Lab 2 course, spring 2020.

 

Statement of Solidarity from the UConn Digital Media & Design Department

In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist. – ANGELA Y. DAVIS

Dear students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends,

We in the Department of Digital Media & Design feel the pain, sadness, and frustration caused by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, and the innumerable Black citizens whose lives who were cut short by racial injustice in our nation. Say their names.

In honor of those lost and in protection of our collective, societal future, I challenge each of us to commit to being ANTI-RACIST. We can no longer turn away and remain silent – it is not enough to be non-racist, we must stand together, act for social justice, and become actively conscious about race and racism in our daily lives. This is the only way that we can transform the world around us to become a more just and peaceful society.

In our departmental mission, we state that, “…we encourage students to find and express their voice, building from their unique background and perspective. We acknowledge that a diversity of thought and expression is needed in today’s society and see great promise in our DMD students’ ability to make a difference in the world as future digital media content creators, distributors, and analyzers.”

These words are more significant now than ever. Ironically, it is only because Americans carry smartphones – with high definition cameras connected to the internet – that these horrific acts of violence are being brought to light, the same tools that we embrace in Digital Media & Design for content creation and distribution. As a creative community with talents in digital media, each one of us has the potential to make a positive impact, realize complex ideas, empower those whose voices are silenced by mainstream media, and amplify those voices in the digital sphere. This moment is a call to action for each of us to rise up and use our talents to spark meaningful conversations, engage in digital advocacy projects, and share our unique voices and diverse backgrounds.

DMD has become known for its collaborations around social justice through partnerships with the Dodd Center, the Human Rights Institute, Global Affairs, UConn Archives, and our many external nonprofit partners around the state, who we have helped realize professional digital products to support their missions. We have begun working closely with our Office for Diversity and Inclusion and our Cultural Centers, and we formed a departmental Inclusion Committee in 2019. However, confronting and fighting systemic racism requires intentionality, commitment, and coordinated efforts by the entire community.

We join our colleagues at the University of Connecticut in committing to anti-racism, share this statement on racial injustice, and invite you to read those of the Dodd Center and Human Rights Institute, the Africana Studies Institute, interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and programs, and the President and Provost. Together, we affirm our commitment to making the struggle against White supremacy and systemic racism central to our work in building an equitable and just campus community and society

To our black students, faculty, and friends, please know that your DMD family stands with you in solidarity. We hear you, we share your outrage, and we empathize with your pain. And I ask everyone in our community, right now, to reach out to and support our friends of color, who are truly suffering during this time of national crisis, both from racial injustice and the pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted minority groups.
There are many resources available to support this work, but a particularly meaningful one is the National Museum of African American History and Culture‘s “Talking About Race” site. I also invite you to join the Racial Profiling Prohibition Project and stakeholders from across the state for Truth & Reconciliation: A Conversation about Race and Policing at 11am tomorrow, Friday, June 5.

Finally, over the next month, we will be sharing via social media examples of recently created student projects that engage social justice issues, address racism and embrace cultural identity. Please follow us on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter to view the works and help amplify our UConn DMD students’ voices as we celebrate their creativity and passion as they learn that they have the power to bring change to the world.

In solidarity, but with hope,

Heather Elliott-Famularo
Department Head & Professor, Digital Media & Design

Faculty member Sue Huang featured in Creative Capital’s On Our Radar 2020

Sue Huang's research

The project Freshkills in Eight Movements, by faculty member Sue Huang and collaborator Brian House, is featured in Creative Capital’s On Our Radar 2020. On Our Radar 2020 features noteworthy projects in all disciplines that advanced to the final round in the competitive selection process for the Creative Capital Award. During each award cycle, Creative Capital has the great privilege of learning about a wealth of exciting artists’ projects. By promoting projects “on our radar” to people who are passionate about the arts, we can help forge connections that lead to new avenues of support and collaborative opportunities. We invite you to explore projects featured in On Our Radar, and follow links to artists’ websites to find out more about how you can get involved making their visions a reality.   

Freshkills in Eight Movements is a sound/video installation that explores the relationship between human and environmental temporalities in a time of climate crisis. The project takes as its starting point New York City’s Freshkills, once known as Fresh Kills Landfill, the largest municipal dump in the world. Currently in the process of a decades-long transformation into a public park, Freshkills is a uniquely liminal space, where our long-term effects on the Earth are palpable. 

House and Huang’s installation emerges from the multitemporal dynamics of this environment—the thousand-year decay of a Styrofoam cup, the multigenerational use of the land by humans, the seasonal cycle of the regenerating vegetation, and the gathering of clouds. Each of these temporal layers is translated into musical notation using municipal and public data, including statistical projections of weather patterns and methane and leachate emissions data from the Department of Sanitation. The resulting eight scores are played by double bassist Robert Black (Bang on a Can All-Stars), whose performances are filmed and later projected onto a labyrinth of screens in an installation space. When heard simultaneously, these performances create a soundscape of data that coalesces multiple temporalities into one immersive experience. 

UConn Digital Media & Design Celebrates Graduating Seniors with Online Exhibition & Screening Premiere

DMD Class of 2020
The UConn Department of Digital Media & Design is thrilled to announce that its 2020 Senior Exhibitions will open online on Monday, April 27, 2020. These virtual group exhibitions feature the work of senior BFA students from the Storrs campus and senior BFA and select BA students from the Stamford campus. These online exhibitions replace the previously scheduled exhibitions in the Jorgensen Gallery of the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts and the UConn Stamford Art Gallery which were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These exciting exhibitions feature a wide variety of digital projects created by seniors graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and a few select Bachelor of Arts, in Digital Media & Design. Artworks range from 2D and 3D animations to interactive web and game projects that tell unique stories that explore many themes. To view the galleries, visit: http://dmd.uconn.edu/bfashow.
In addition, the public is invited to watch the completed films and animations in an online screening Premiere via YouTube at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 8th, which will also serve as a celebration and virtual reception. http://youtube.com/uconndmd. 
Exhibiting artists, Storrs campus: Shay Albert (Woodstock, Conn.), Sign, Hand-drawn 2D animation; Owen Boyle (Branford, Conn.), Out of Left Field, 3D animation; Emily Cesarini (Greenwich, Conn.), Guidance, 3D game; Shawn Chen (Litchfield, Conn.), Internship video; Emma Rose Cooper (Waterbury, Conn.), Home, Interactive 3D environment; Jeffrey Dobbs (New Haven, Conn.), Synth-Sense, 3D animation; Eric Fritz (Millersville, Md.), Stop Talking To Me, Hand-drawn 2D animation; Allie Marsh (Old Lyme, Conn.), Why We Fly, Film; Tal Modiano (Woodbridge, Conn.), Wade/Cull Music Video, 2D animation; Cynthia Reinert (Berlin, Conn.), Wonder, Interactive web art; Morgan Rossi (Glastonbury, Conn.), Waddle We Do?, Installation with 3D animation; Courtney Senior (New Milford, Conn.) & Emily Touch (Cromwell, Conn.), Staraway, Game; Sarah Shattuck (Stamford, Conn.), MIACRO, 2D animation; Sheryl Wang (Ellington, Conn.), A Little Too Real, Animated web comic; Justin Woods (Thornwood, N.Y.), Perfect Fit, 3D Animation
Exhibiting artists, Stamford campus: James Campbell-Gibson (Capetown, South Africa), One a Day, Website and animation; Anthony Cavuoto (New Milford, Conn.), The New Nintendo, Video and brand book; Nolan Didio (Monroe, Conn.), Stranded, 3D animation; Jeremy Gonzalez (Stamford, Conn.), Conflict Within, 2D animation; Julian Kinney (New Rochelle, N.Y.), Full Metal Cactus, 2D animation; Tyrrell Serrano (Bridgeport, Conn.), Desert Dash and Tilt:Maze, Mobile games; Ryan Story (Stamford, Conn.), Untitled, 2D and 3D animation; Linh Tran (Bridgeport, Conn.), “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: How the Mad Women Changed the Face of the Ad Industry,” Poster; Andrew Zhou (Trumbull, Conn.), Umbra, Interactive narrative; James Zilvitis Jr. (Winsted, Conn.), HMS Triton Six Gun Frigate, 3D model

The University of Connecticut’s Department of Digital Media & Design 
provides an innovative and transformative experience to educate students in animation, gaming, web and interactive media design, digital media business strategies, film/video production, and the digital humanities. 

The University of Connecticut’s School of Fine Arts 
balances artistic and cultural legacies with the innovative approaches and techniques of contemporary art. In so doing, the School of Fine Arts serves students at the University of Connecticut in both their educational and their professional development. The outstanding faculty from the four academic departments are committed to providing rigorous professional education and all offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. Our academic programs are supported by specialized and uniquely focused showcases, stages, exhibition space and forums which include the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts, William Benton Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Galleries, Connecticut Repertory Theatre and von der Mehden Recital Hall.

student artwork
dmd showcase graphic